Can the healthcare system become future-proof if hospitals and other healthcare institutions continue to operate independently? Or is it a must to really start working together in the coming years? One thing is certain: with the current approach, the healthcare sector is faced with tough dilemmas such as the increase in the need for care, individualization of the patient and a shortage of qualified personnel. In addition, the question can also be asked whether the right care is always provided in the right place. But is this realistic at all when a large and broad network is missing? Various perspectives and scenarios have already been published about the future of healthcare in the Netherlands. Such an overview of possible scenarios is useful, but what are the priorities within the healthcare sector for the coming years?
Supply Value has researched the priorities within the healthcare sector for the coming years. Our report describes eight important developments that will lead to major changes within the healthcare sector in the next five years. In this insight, we briefly discuss the first two developments: from islands to networks and from hospital to home.
From islands to networks
In the Netherlands, more and more (regional) cooperation initiatives are being launched to make the healthcare system future-proof. The aim is to improve the health of residents and the quality of care at lower costs. Our experience shows that, despite the emerging initiatives, most healthcare providers do not yet work in such a partnership or that the implementation of 'cooperation' is not yet complete. The consequence of this is, for example, that a person requiring care must provide his or her details each time a new care provider is visited. This is because no or only limited data is shared between care providers.
The following developments are foreseen in Dutch healthcare:
- First of all, the demand for care continues to rise, while the supply in certain regions is falling. We see the demand for care increasing mainly due to the increase in the number of elderly people. On the other hand, the healthcare sector is dealing with staff shortages.
- In addition, there is fragmentation in health care. The cause of this is the silo way of thinking (islands) of healthcare providers. This is maintained by a 'complex' of factors: the lack of matching financing, legislation and regulations, data management, time and training.
- Finally, healthcare professionals experience an increasing workload due to staff shortages and the increasing administrative burden.
In order to improve the quality of care and to curb (or even reduce) expenditure, care providers and other parties such as health insurers will have to work together. Parties must work together towards an integrated care approach, in which the person in need of care is central.
From hospital to home
Most care is provided in the hospital. This varies from a check-up with a specialist to a multi-day admission. The increasing demand for care creates a motivation to see the person in need of care less in hospital and to provide support at home as much as possible. The Ministry of Health and various health insurers focus on the right care, at the right place and at the right time. This aim will result in a shift in the location of care provision: It is expected that by 2030 at least 50% of care provision will take place in one's own living environment instead of in a care institution.
The required care is of course a determining factor in choosing the right place for care. Measuring certain values and identifying relevant trends will in the long run simply take place as a standard at home, among other things with the help of e-health devices. And then there is another important development to be able to realize the transfer of care to home: collaboration within the network of care institutions. To be able to move care that requires some physical help to a home situation, support is often needed by a care worker on site. This care worker, for example a home care nurse, must be aware of exactly what the specialist in the hospital has prescribed as treatment.
The first two developments described in this sneak peek describe important shifts for the healthcare sector. In order to successfully implement the described changes within the healthcare sector, it is important to create a solid basis for this. This is done with the movement ''from islands to network''. When a broad network is created between hospitals, other health care institutions and health insurers, more can be achieved and a step is actually taken towards the right care in the right place.